Maulana Muhammad Ali on completing the revision of his English translation of the Quran for the 1951 edition
After completing this revision, Maulana Muhammad Ali delivered a khutba which I have translated at this link.
Some interesting excerpts are given below:
"Reading the Quran illuminates your heart, but this depends on the concentration with which you read this word of God. The more you concentrate on it, and the deeper you go into it, the more it will enter your heart. This can be made clearer by the following example. Just as pearls are found in the depths of the oceans, likewise the boundless treasures of knowledge contained in the Quran, which will continue to be unfolded till the Day of Judgment, are to be found in the depths of the meanings of its words. It is an ocean that no one is denied access to, but to obtain those valuable pearls from it, which give us light to solve our problems, is dependent on how much effort and exertion we put in for their acquisition….
I must tell you that the true knowledge of the Holy Quran has in this age been disclosed particularly to your Jama‘at, and this blessing is in reality due to that man at whose feet we gained this knowledge. He set us on the right path. To gain true knowledge, a balanced mind is required, and it is the blessing of God that this Jama‘at has maintained its mental equilibrium. This is why the Promised Messiah’s intellectual heritage has passed to this small Jama‘at.
It is perfectly true that we accepted Hazrat Mirza sahib as Mujaddid, as Mahdi and as the Messiah. However, we never accepted him as one to be followed blindly. We used to differ with him sometimes. The Nawab of Mongrol felt much attraction and love for this Movement. To a large extent he believed the Ahmadiyya Movement to be true. When once we were with him, a Maulvi tried to incite him against us and said to him: ‘These people whom you respect and honour so much, who believe Mirza sahib to be the Promised Messiah, they have differences with their own Promised Messiah; he did not believe that Jesus was born of a father, but these people believe he had a father.’
The Nawab sahib put this question to me. I replied that this just shows that we have not accepted the Promised Messiah without thinking, but after thinking and understanding, with open eyes, which are still open. The Promised Messiah has declared the Holy Quran to be supreme over everything. So if we see something clearly in the Quran, then in a secondary matter we consider it permissible to hold a different interpretation from the Promised Messiah, provided it is supported by strong arguments. We have learnt the Quran from the Promised Messiah but he did not shut the doors of knowledge upon us; rather, he opened them.
Therefore, it is no sin to differ, even with the greatest of persons. Of course, one cannot differ with the founder of the religion, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. After him, one can differ with anyone from Hazrat Abu Bakr to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The concept that such differences are not allowed caused Muslims to become stagnant. Prior to that, the Muslims were racing on the path of progress, in terms of both knowledge and deeds. They led the world in all aspects of life. But when this nation got stuck in the mire of taking religious leaders “for lords besides Allah” (the Quran, 9:31), it went into decline."